Could Run-of-Mill French Suburb Be Global Model of Religious Tolerance?

Jews Join Other Faith in 'Esplanade of Religions'

Faithful Experiment: Jews are joined by leaders of other faiths at a Tu B’Shvat tree-planting ceremony in the Paris suburb of Bussy-Saint-Georges.
getty images
Faithful Experiment: Jews are joined by leaders of other faiths at a Tu B’Shvat tree-planting ceremony in the Paris suburb of Bussy-Saint-Georges.

By Anne Cohen

Published May 05, 2013, issue of May 10, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Despite the inspirational promise of this project, the Jewish community’s full participation is threatened by a more mundane concern: financing.

Jewish leaders have played a prominent part in the planning, but they have raised only 10% of the 1 million euros needed for construction of the synagogue. Meanwhile, the Taiwanese temple already stands tall, and the Muslim community has broken ground on its mosque.

“We’re falling behind the others because we’re a smaller community,” explained Claude Windisch, current president of J’Buss. “The Jewish community in France hasn’t yet understood the importance of what we’re trying to do here. It’s a project that goes beyond Bussy-Saint-Georges.”

After meeting formally at the Tu B’Shvat ceremony, the Taiwanese ambassador to France extended a formal invitation to Windisch and Benarousse to visit the Jewish community in Taipei to discuss fundraising for the project. They hope to mount a fundraising trip to New York, but that remains a pipe dream for now.

Despite the logistical setbacks, Benarousse remains positive about the future of Jews in Bussy and their role in the Esplanade. Even if it takes time to build a new synagogue, Rondeau says it is crucial that the Jewish community have a visible place in the town.

“When you have a synagogue, it means your community exists,” the mayor said. “In this population of 25,000, there are Jews.”

Contact Anne Cohen at cohen@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.